South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has got it wrong again.
The dreadful leader has vetoed a public safety bill that would create a brand new fire station in the historic community of Murrells Inlet Garden City (located 10 miles south of Myrtle Beach).
The land for a new fire station has been cleared and there is enough money to construct the facility. Unfortunately, the governor is misleading the public about the fire initiative. She is using “smoke and mirrors”, taking to her Facebook page to describe efforts as a back door deal that would increase the taxes of citizens without their approval.
Nothing could be further from the truth and if the governor did her homework she would stop spreading misinformation. In fact several public meetings HAVE BEEN held to discuss the fire station and to hear the voices of the people. It is not clear to us why Haley is mischaracterizing the issue, but South Carolina fire fighters are working to fight the deceit she is feeding to the public.
Forty eight years ago, citizens approved the creation of the fire district, but the governor doesn’t seem to care about that fact. The Murrells Inlet Garden City district was created by a public referendum in 1966 with a 5 mil cap rate. It took 20 years to need additional revenue --- so 5 additional mils were allowed, but not used in 1994 through the present day. The Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire Department charges 10 mils and has an ISO rating of 3.
A new fire station is needed to help meet the demand for response services in a community that is growing rapidly.
Local businesses are on board for the new fire station. Supporters and critics agree the Murrells Inlet Garden City has acted financially responsible. The fire board is concerned they could need additional funding if the reassessment and new construction do not improve, or if a weather-related disaster hits the area. And a property tax increase serves as the sole funding stream for the fire district. Fire fighters are concerned if the a new station is not built then the district’s ISO rating could be hurt and that could mean more money coming out of citizens pockets to pay for higher insurance. Citizens could see insurance rates increase $75 to $95 per year. So not only could insurance go up, services could decline. And for what, we ask? For $15 a year!
Either way, Murrells Inlet Garden City is in short and long term jeopardy because the district has reached its maximum rate.
Haley doesn’t seem to value South Carolina’s fire fighters and public safety, nor does she think it is a priority and it is jeopardizing citizens.
Fire fighters find Haley’s shenanigans shameful and they are working hard to encourage the South Carolina House and Senate to override the veto.